Today's "Think Thin" is geared more toward the weightlifters out there. There are plenty of routines that satisfy the POWER aspect of using weights and or machines in your workout but none which is so misunderstood than the "Negative" also called eccentric reps. Everyone has a favorite method that combines negatives into their workout. It's the reason why they do them that may defeat their effectiveness.
We've discussed how to determine what your maximum lift and reps should be for each exercise. Now it's time to change it up a bit with negatives. During eccentric movements you can control 20 to 30% more weight than what you can lift. This has a tremendous effect on our workout and muscle stimulation although only in small doses. It isn't something you want to continue to repeat through an entire set. The goal is to get the muscles activated then proceed with more standard reps to failure.
If you normally do three sets of whatever reps try doing only the first rep of sets 1 and 3 as a negative then go to failure. This gets more nerves activated and is less damaging to the muscle fiber itself. A trainer or partner can and should be used during these efforts. For those who do more sets than this the guideline would simply be don't utilize the negatives in consecutive sets. After three to four weeks of adding negatives into your training return to your basic workout and let the benefits sink in. If done properly, note that negatives do not have to be a super slow rep, you may find that a new personal best will show up.
This is one of the few times that I'll ever say that a NEGATIVE can be a GOOD thing!